As I previously blogged, I have a connection to the movie Ted that goes beyond simply wanting to see a comedy from the creator of the wildly irreverent TV show Family Guy. As I was a part of one of the scenes as an extra, there was no way I was going to miss seeing Seth MacFarlane's feature film debut. Being a fan of Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis didn't hurt either. So yesterday I bought my ticket, crossed my fingers that it would be good, and headed to the movies. I then spent the next hour and forty odd minutes laughing harder than I have all year. We have ourselves a must see comedy – must see if you're an adult that is. This is one filthy Teddy.
The story is set mostly in Boston (I'm positive), and begins when one awkward child, John Bennett, wishes that his Christmas gift, a large adorable teddy bear, would come to life so he could have a friend. Magically, the wish is granted and a friendship is born that they vow will last a lifetime. The media erupts, the world is in awe, and then times passes, and as Patrick Stewart so delicately narrates, eventually nobody “gives a s---”. The story zooms forward to many years later when we meet grown up John (Wahlberg) with an also very grown up Ted the teddy bear. They've exchanged cuteness for vulgarity, and live a lazy Boston life of drugs, booze, and partying. John does have the perfect girlfriend Lori (played by Mila Kunis) who forgives his shortcomings for his giant heart...for a little while anyways, but I won't spoil anything.
The first two-thirds of the film are mostly routines in shocking the audience in how far they can take the joke of a bear coming to life and being raunchy. In other hands, it could have been low-brow and gratuitous, but MacFarlane blends his style of humor effortlessly into one very entertaining scene after another that while things are still dirty, they seem intelligent. The last segment of the film is an action packed portion where a humorous villain kidnaps Ted and the race is on to get him back. This climax also provides some of the film's biggest laughs while using Fenway Park as a backdrop. As a matter of fact, if you love Boston like I do, you'll enjoy seeing so many parts of the city on display throughout the entire film.
It may be obvious, and I'm not here to tell you how to parent your children, but this is not a kid's movie. There are enough swears and dirty jokes here to make a sailor blush, and there is brief nudity, drug abuse, and some mild violence. It earns it's R rating with pride. There was actually a young child sitting behind me at the screening I attended, and they kept asking their mom to explain things. Unless you want a similar scenario in your household, hire a babysitter.
All in all, Ted works for those that would be interested in seeing it in the first place. If you don't think a swearing teddy bear could be hilarious, you probably want to stay far away. If you're like me though, and think the idea sounds so outrageous it might just work, you'll be pleasantly surprised and find yourself watching one of the funniest movies of the year. I doubt there will ever be a movie about a talking teddy bear that is better! I would score this an 8 out of 10. And I'll also say something I don't often say...I really hope there is a sequel!
Did you see it? What did you think?